ANALYSIS: What will Egypt’s Trezeguet bring to Aston Villa?
The Midlands club are determined to stay in the Premier League after two seasons out of the top flight, and have continued their summer splurge by signing Kasımpaşa winger Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet‘. KingFut’s Ahmed Khalil gives his thoughts on what Villa fans can expect from their new Egyptian winger.
Aston Villa confirmed the signing of Egyptian winger Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ on Wednesday and the 24-year-old becomes Dean Smith’s ninth signing of the summer transfer window so far. Trezeguet becomes the second Egyptian to be part of Villa’s current set-up – who are also jointly owned by Egyptian businessman Nassef Sawiris – with his international teammate and ‘brother’ Ahmed Elmohamady playing at right-back.
Trezeguet arrives from Turkish club Kasımpaşa in an £8.75 million deal, plus add-ons, and is set to become the 12th-ever Egyptian to play in the Premier League, following in the footsteps of Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’, Ahmed Fathi, Hossam Ghaly, Mohamed Shawky, Amr Zaki, Ahmed Elmohamady, Gedo, Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Elneny, Ahmed Hegazi, and Ramadan Sobhi.
The Egypt international is expected to linkup with his Villa teammates in pre-season shortly, having just returned from playing at the 2019 African Cup of Nations where he scored one goal and assisted another in four games at the tournament. Interestingly enough, Trezeguet and Egypt captain – now Aston Villa teammate – Ahmed Elmohamady were involved in four of Egypt’s five goals in the competition prior to the Pharaohs’ round of 16 elimination.
Trezeguet has always been seen as a promising youngster since his days at Al Ahly’s youth academy, and was linked with a number of European clubs including Celtic and Nottingham Forest following his outstanding displays at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey, where he scored in a 2-0 win against an England side with the likes of Harry Kane, Ross Barkley, John Stones and Eric Dier.
It wasn’t until after his breakout year with the senior Al Ahly side during the 2014/15 Egyptian Premier League season, where he scored five goals and assisted seven as a 20-year-old, that he finally got his first taste of European football after being snapped up by Belgian giants Anderlecht.
Following his rough stint with the Belgian giants, having made only eight appearances for the team in the 2015/16 season, the player was loaned out to relegation strugglers Royal Excel Mouscron and enjoyed a superb campaign. The young Egypt international played an integral part in the team’s bid to stay in the Pro League, making 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring seven and assisting five goals.
Despite his impressive season, former Anderlecht manager Rene Weiler remained adamant that the player was not part of his future plans. Trezeguet considered taking a similar route to Mathias Suarez, who prematurely terminated his contract at Anderlecht after the 2016/17 season, but ended up joining Kasımpaşa on loan before they activated his €2.5m release clause to make his stay permanent.
Just how good is Trezeguet? …And what are his best attributes?
As a wide-forward, it goes without saying that goals and assists are absolutely essential in order to help the team. Luckily for Villa, they’ve invested in someone who’s been doing both consistently throughout his career thus far, especially during his last two seasons in Turkey. His last season at Kasımpaşa saw him score nine goals and generate 10 assists in 38 outings. The season before, the winger scored 16 goals and created seven for his teammates.
Trezeguet is a very talented wide player, with some really impressive attributes and loads of potential to further develop. He has a number of high level abilities that make him a dangerous player in the final third, especially his tendency to score from outside the box and continuously dribble past opposition on either flank.
The Egyptian’s versatility would also be welcomed by Smith. When he plays on the left, he’s more of an inside forward, with strong finishing, dribbling, speed, long shots, passing and vision, which allow him to cut inside on his strong right foot and hurt the opposition in a number of ways. When he plays on the right, his strong passing, crossing, speed, off the ball movement and vision make him a very good traditional winger, although his traits suggest that he loves cutting inside at every opportunity.
Did we mention Trezeguet’s extremely good at dribbling? He successfully completed 112 dribbles for his side in the Turkish Super League last season, 31 more than any other player – he was only behind Allan Saint-Maximin and Lionel Messi in all of Europe.
According to WhoScored, Trezeguet also made more key passes (78) than any other player in the Super Lig last season.
The 24-year-old isn’t scared of doing the ugly side of the game either, as he has a high work rate, determination, anticipation, stamina and natural fitness, which makes him more than capable of tracking back and helping his defensive teammates.
Will Trezeguet have a spot in the Villians starting XI?
The Egyptian’s place in Villa’s starting eleven is not guaranteed however, as he will compete with the likes of Anwar El Ghazi, Jota, and youngster Andre Green for the wide roles at Villa Park.
Someone like El Ghazi is already ahead of him in the pecking order as he was on loan at the club last season and performed well following Dean Smith’s arrival, not to mention having opened the scoring for Villa during their 2-1 Championship play-off final win over Derby County in May.
Added to that, summer capture Jota who arrived from arch rivals Birmingham City is also making a name for himself in the starting XI as he continues to impress during Villa’s pre-season, having just scored a brace and assisting another on the day of Trezeguet’s arrival.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith seems to know exactly what type of player he’s getting and how he’ll fit into his side, as he said following the club’s capture of the Egyptian: “We’re really excited to work with ‘Trez’. I’ve watched him a number of times.”
“He’s the type of wide player that we have been looking for who is direct, causes problems for the opposition in the final third and scores goals,” he added.
Overall, for the fee that has been quoted, Trezeguet looks like an excellent signing for Villa, regardless of whether or not he’s able to quickly break into the starting eleven.
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